Disney Wish Becomes Inspiring Classroom for Bahamian Students
August 18, 2023
Taking learning to the next level, a group of Bahamian summer camp students embarked on an inspiring day outside of the classroom and boarded the Disney Wish to learn first-hand about careers at sea from the best – Disney Cruise Line crew members.
More than 25 students, ranging in age from 10 to 13, participated in a two-week maritime summer camp sponsored by Disney Cruise Line at the LJM Maritime Academy in Nassau, The Bahamas. The students learned about the local and global maritime industry and gained a better understanding of career opportunities on board.
Disney Cruise Line (DCL) has sponsored the program for many years, and in 2023, worked with the LJM Maritime Academy to create a memorable and educational experience for the students aboard the Disney Wish. While the ship was in port in Nassau, the students toured the ship, learned from crew members in a variety of roles, met the captain of the Disney Wish, and even had the special opportunity to visit the ship’s command center bridge.
“It was so fun to see the Disney Wish. When we were on the bridge, my jaw just dropped. We met the captain, the pilot and other crew members,” said Quinn, a student participating in the LJM Maritime Academy summer camp program. “I hope to continue to learn more, so that one day, I can be a captain on a ship like the Disney Wish,” added Quinn.
The students toured the ship’s beautiful theaters, incredible dining locations, and interactive youth activities spaces, where they had the chance to play and meet Captain Minnie and other favorite Disney characters.
“We want to inspire young people, especially here in The Bahamas, to explore careers at sea. Sponsoring the LJM Maritime Academy summer camp program is one of the ways we’re introducing young Bahamians to maritime opportunities early on so that they know this is an option for them,” said Joey Gaskins, Public Affairs Director, Disney Cruise Line. “We’ve invited these students aboard the Disney Wish to show them first-hand some of the incredible maritime careers available, and we want to encourage them to join our growing Disney Cruise Line team in the future.”
DCL invited former LJM Maritime Academy Cadet Antoinique “Summer” Lightbourn, who recently participated in DCL’s scholarship program, to join the students on the tour of the ship. While walking the students around the ship, she shared her experiences and favorite moments from working aboard the Disney Wish and encouraged the students to chase their dreams of pursuing careers at sea.
“Disney Cruise Line has continued to be an excellent partner to the LJM Maritime Academy, through its scholarship program and sponsorship of our successful summer camp,” said Dr. Brenda Cleare, Principal LJM Maritime Academy. “This camp is so important because it opens up new horizons for these young people as they begin to enter high school and think seriously about the direction they want their lives to go in,” she added.
Disney Cruise Line (DCL) has supported the LJM Maritime Academy for many years as part of its commitment to inspire the next generation of seafarers while creating a lasting positive impact in The Bahamas. Since 2019, DCL has sponsored LJM Maritime Academy cadet scholarships for young adults, like Summer, aspiring to become ship captains and shipboard leaders. The scholarships cover tuition for the three-year LJM Maritime Academy program, which includes two years of study at the academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.
As our fleet of ships expands, along with a new island destination opening in 2024 at Lighthouse Point in Eleuthera, Disney is committed to continuing to invest in programs supporting local youth, including the LJM Maritime Academy cadet scholarship.
For more than 25 years, Disney Cruise Line has introduced countless families to the beauty and spirit of The Bahamas. At the same time, the company has provided significant economic impact while demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment and the community. Several initiatives Disney Cruise Line has recently supported include teaming up with local organizations to build a backyard garden for the Ranfurly Homes for Children in Nassau, collaborating with students on the Eleuthera Junior Junkanoo competition, and donating books to students to share the gift of storytelling. Together, these initiatives support Disney Future Storytellers, The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers and innovators.